Friday, January 16, 2015

5 Suggestions to Help You Awaken to Your Purpose

Every one of us was created with and for a purpose. You know the old saying ... God doesn't make junk. You are not worthless. You are not a screw up. You are not a glitch in God's grand design. You, beautiful one, are worthy.

As The Doctor says, "You are brilliant." I was watching an episode of Dr. Who last night when this line came up. It's something he tells every girl who travels with him. At first, these women question whether or not they are special. Whether or not they have a purpose in life. It takes them spending time traveling the universe with The Doctor, saving planets from alien races, before they realize that he is, indeed, correct and that they are special - or brilliant - and that they do have a purpose in life.

We need to spend time with the One who created us and gave us purpose. We need to get to know Him, because in knowing Him, we discover His will. Throughout the Word of God, we hear that He created us in His image and likeness. We hear that we are created to worship Him. We hear that we are sinners in need of a Savior. We hear that He loves us so much that He decided to send His only Son to earth. He hear that He desires us so much that Jesus died on the cross so that our sins could be forgiven and we could be pure and holy in God's eyes. When we read the Bible, we understand God and His intent for us. Our purpose awakens.

I wish I'd known when I was thirteen that God loved me this much. I wish I'd known Him then. I wish I hadn't struggled for ten years to figure out who I was in this world, trying on different images in a sad attempt to find myself. Trying to be someone I wasn't. Trying to fit in. Trying to impress people enough to win their attentions and their affections. Because if I'd known Jesus and His word, I would have known that I am first and foremost a child of the King of Kings. A princess. An heiress to His kingdom. A beloved daughter. A young woman who deserves the respect of a man. Holy. Honorable. And unique. I would have known that I didn't need to worry about what others said or thought of me. I could be who I was without regret, embarrassment, or doubt. And I would have waited for so much ... and I would have done so much more by now.

Thankfully, it isn't too late. It's never too late. Not until the day we draw our last breath. Then, it's too late.

It isn't too late to discover who you are. How you represent His image and likeness here on earth. Who He's created you to be and what He's created you to do. Your purpose.

Jeff Goins has a new book coming out in March of 2015. It's called The Art of Work. In it, he says that you need to come to an understanding that purpose will not find you. It's something you have to go in search of. Sure, some of us know that we want to be a teacher by the time we're out of Kindergarten, but these people are few and far between. And even then, these people still have work to do in order to fulfill that purpose.

So how do we search it out? Practically?

1. Read the Bible. As I previously said, God speaks to us through His word. Listen for those verses that jump out at you, that call to you. Write them down. Memorize them. Study them. Pick up your tools and dig for the treasure buried in them.

2. Pray. Ask God to reveal your purpose as you pursue each day and take each step along the journey of your life.

3. Take an inventory of your past. What do you see in your list of the things you've done, your successes, failures that have led to successes, accomplishments? What have people said that you are good at or what do they say of your character? What do they praise?

4. If you're still not sure what your purpose is, talk with someone who is going to tell you positive truths about yourself. Someone you trust. Someone who will be honest, but if they provide a critique, it's a constructive one, not one that is going to tear you down. Take note of what they point out, then add that to your list.

5. Look at the Scriptures you've written down, the list you've made, the things God has pointed out, and find the common thread. Chances are, you've discovered your purpose.

Your purpose is going to be something that gives your life meaning. Every good and perfect gift comes from God, and it brings no sorrow with it. Your purpose should fill you with joy, this knowing. Maybe it will come with some degree of intimidation, but there should be an underlying excitement. Some understanding that your purpose is HUGE, that it is going to take some work, but that with God, you are brilliant and will be able to pursue it with all of your being.

Share the Beauty:
What is one thing you've discovered about your purpose? Please share it in the comments. We love to hear from you!

5 Suggestions to Help You Awaken to Your Purpose via @AlyciaMorales {Click to Tweet}

Do You Know What Your Purpose Is? 5 Suggestions to Help You Find It via @AlyciaMorales {Click to Tweet}

Monday, January 5, 2015

3 Questions to Help You Discover Your God-Given Dreams

by, Alycia W. Morales

In December of 2009, I stood in my bedroom folding clothes, tears streaming down my face. I was having what you could call a mid-life crisis. At the age of 35. (I hope that isn't my mid-life - I'd like to live to be 100.) I wasn't enjoying life at that time. As the author of Proverbs puts it, "All was vanity." There wasn't any holy in my common. I rose, I saw my husband off to work, the kids off to school, and I went through the daily routine of cleaning and cooking and doing whatever needed to be done that day. I read the Word of God, and I prayed. But my spirit was empty.

So I cried some more. "Lord, what do you want me to do for You? I have the talents You've given me. But what do I do with them? Because I certainly don't want to bury them."

Thankfully, God answers me. "Write for Me."

My childhood dream was to write for Bop or Teen Beat.  Or maybe Seventeen. I wanted to write for magazines. Since I loved music and dreamed of being in a movie, I wanted to interview celebrities. (And I won't tell you how many times I entered YM's annual model search contest.) I've journaled since I was eight. I wrote teenage angst poems all through high school and college. Writing has always been therapeutic for me.

And I've been reading since Kindergarten. Avidly. Across genres. Fiction and non-fiction.

So when God said to write for Him, it didn't surprise me one bit. Because writing is something I'm passionate about and love to do. It's something I've dreamed of doing since I was a child.

I have a few questions for you:

What is it that you've always dreamed of doing, but maybe you've put it on a shelf? This isn't the time. I can't afford it. No one thinks I can do it. 

These are all cues that God has put that dream inside of you, because the enemy would love to see you bury your talent and forget about it. Why? Because God designed that talent for a purpose - to multiply His kingdom. And He gave you a specific talent for a specific use. Sure, your friend may be just as good at the same thing, or better, but she isn't you. You have just what God needs.

What is one thing you could do today to take that talent out and begin to multiply it? 

This doesn't have to cost a lot of money. I'm not talking about going back to school or buying a store or anything huge. I'm talking about a small step. A beginning to turn up the soil so that you can plant a seed. Maybe you  need to head over to Hobby Lobby and pick up some art supplies. Maybe you need to buy a book about writing. Maybe you need to pull your cello out of storage. Maybe you need to start praying for your children for fifteen minutes a day. Maybe you need to save ten dollars a week and do a fundraiser so you can go on that mission trip.

Who do you know who can help you reach toward that dream?

This person should be someone who will encourage you, someone you trust. It shouldn't be the negative Nelly who is always shooting down the positive. This shouldn't be the person who is afraid to take a leap of faith. This should be the person you know will stand by your side and hold you accountable to setting and reaching some goals. Contact this person. Tell them what you would like to do. Tell them your dream. And ask them to pray for you, to hold you accountable.

So many people leave their dream on a shelf and go through the daily grind in the name of responsibility. Sure, we all need a paycheck. We all need to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table. But that urging inside of you that says you were made for more than this? That's God. And He's given you a big dream. And He can supply all you need to make it come to pass.

But it won't happen if you don't take it off the shelf, dust it off, and put your faith into action.

So I encourage you today to answer the three questions I asked and to do one small thing toward making that dream a reality.

Share the Beauty:
And then come tell us about it. Please leave a comment and let us know what your God-given dream is. And if you've taken a step of faith, let us know about that too.

3 Questions to Help You Discover Your God-Given Dream via @AlyciaMorales {Click to Tweet}

Thursday, January 1, 2015

My One Word ~ FULLNESS

Many years ago, at a women's conference, I heard God whisper a word in my spirit. And then I watched as He brought that word to life in me throughout that year. It was a few years later that I heard about the #OneWord movement and started seeking God's word for me in December instead of May.

This year, my One Word is FULLNESS.

Here are a few verses that have impacted me as I've researched this word:

You show me the path of life;
In Your presence is FULLNESS of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Psalm 16:11

Jesus sits at the right hand of God (Matthew 26:64). He is my pleasure forevermore. It is in my salvation that I find the fullness of joy. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6).

How precious is Your lovingkindess, O God!
Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings.
They are abundantly satisfied with the FULLNESS of Your house,
And You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures.
For with You is the fountain of life;
In Your light we see light. Psalm 36:7-9

I love how much is involved in this verse. God's lovingkindess is precious. Because He loves me so much - and I know it - I put my trust in Him. I know I am safe standing in the shadow of my Father.

I love that as a child of God I am able to experience/partake in:
- abundant satisfaction
- the fullness of His house
- the river of His pleasures
- the fountain of life
- His light and the ability to recognize it

My final set of verses was too long to put into a meme. Ephesians 3:17-21 says:
...that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height - to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the FULLNESS of God.
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

I want desperately to know the love of Jesus in the depths of my being. I don't want my relationship with Him to be based on head knowledge. I want it to be a full experience every day - in my failures, in my successes, in my trials, in my delights, when I'm under the weather, when I'm full of energy, when I'm upset, and when I'm content. I want to experience the power that dwells within me through the Holy Spirit. I want to bring glory to God in all I say and do and to see my kids and their kids and their kids worship the Lord with the fullness of their beings in the years to come.

Another word similar to fullness is abundance, and it shows up within the same verses as those with fullness.

I can't wait to experience the fullness of God in 2015!

What is your #oneword for 2015? I'd love for you to share it with me & my readers! {Click to Tweet}

Share the Beauty:
How about you? What is your One Word for 2015? What is it you're looking forward to experiencing with God in the year to come?